talk to me about healthy napping (and how you got there) — The Bump
May 2011 Moms

talk to me about healthy napping (and how you got there)

Ugh, naps. My mortal enemy.

DD will only nap on me/at the breast. They are usually 45 mins-an hour and a half, three times a day. I don't have a real problem with it, except it is hard for me to get anything done (like dishes and housework and homework since grad school is back in session). She does not like the swing (we have the Fisher Price take along precious planet) and she does not like the carrier (we have a Moby). If she is overtired, which seems to happen a lot since she is a shiitty napper, she will literally only sleep while using me as a pacifier. As in, if I unlatch her, she will wake up. She will not take an actual pacifier and usually won't take her thumb, either.

Today at our 4 month well-baby our pedi suggested we CIO for naps. I think that is a bit ridiculous. I'm NOT saying CIO is ridiculous, though I admit I am against it, but it seemed strange to be having a CIO discussion for naps interspersed with a discussion on how well DD is thriving. We were being told that she is very healthy and happy ohbytheway CIO for naps please. Pedi also said that she is manipulating me for naps, which I don't agree that a 4-month-old is capable of doing.

I have tried letting her fall asleep on me and moving her elsewhere but her eyes pop open as soon as I let go and she is awake. I have tried letting her fuss, but it ends up in an all out cry 100% of the time (literally). I have tried some CIO, like letting her go for 5 mins (since it is usually 2 mins of fuss then a minute of real cry then more fuss then real cry, etc). Even that doesn't seem to be working... I will hear her get her thumb and start to soothe and then cry again. When she doesn't nap well on me, she is just awful to be around by about 5pm. And it is a given that I am trying these things when she is full, dry, comfortable, and tired. She is teething but is on acetaminophen, so that is not the issue, and she is in a quiet, dark room. I've tried pick up put down during fussing, and I've tried check ins (like back rubs or smoothing her hair but not talking or giving eye contact) and that doesn't seem to work either.

She is a perfect night sleeper, which is the frustrating thing. We give her a bath, a nurse her in the glider and we put her in the PNP, out like a light for 12 hours. So why is it so damn hard for her to nap?! I'd understand if we just got a "bad sleeper", but we didn't! At this point, I'm tempted to start following the bedtime routine to a tee during the day (bath, nurse, sleep) and just giving a short bath with no soap or anything just so she gets the hint, but that also seems ridiculous.

So please, successful nappers, teach me about naps and how you got there!  Has anyone tried the No Cry Nap Solution? That is my next resort because I don't know wtf to do... I worry about "bad habits", as well as getting my school work done in a timely way.

 

ETA: We have also tried white noise and napping in a sleep sack like night time. And if the answer is "look, you are a SAHM. suck it up and let her nap on you so you will both be happy" then so be it. I would be happy to do that if there was some confirmation that I am doing the right thing, I can find a balance with getting stuff done. 

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Re: talk to me about healthy napping (and how you got there)

  • I agree with your pedi. She is making a sleep association to suckling at the breast/laying on you, and at 4 months I would want to nip that (nice pun, eh?). 

    Also, some babies don't nap well, but yours is a different case. There is an association she's made and I'd start breaking it now vs. later when it will likely be much more difficult on all of you.  

    I'm in the middle of nap sleep training and she's on day 5 and her naps have extended, she's stopped using the swing and goes down without a fight.  5 days.  Be against it all you want, but sleep training isn't as evil as you might think.

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  • I have the same issue with Gus and I'm doing CIO for naps.  We just started so it's a work in progress but I got him to nap an hour in his crib today instead of in top of me.

    I don't think your baby is manipulating you (4 month olds are not capable of that level of cognition).  But I do think she has learned an association between the breast and napping, and doesn't know how to nap without it.  

    Doing a naptime routine is a good idea.  You don't have to do a fake bath, but maybe a story and the same lullaby would help teach her that it's naptime.  A set nap schedule might help too.

    I waited too long to work out nap issues with my daughter and we never really got it ironed out.  She continued to have nap issues until she dropped naps altogether at age 2.  So if you want to change things up, I think the younger the better. 

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  • Have you tried side lying nursing?  This works really well for us, and one of the easiest ways to get my lo to sleep.  We usually swaddle one arm, then I nurse till she's asleep and lets go, and then gently get up.  I make sure she is in the middle of our bed and check her frequently to make sure she doesn't roll, but it could help. 

    Also you can try to make naps the same environment as it would be for bedtime.  Maybe some shades to darken the room and we use a fan that's on for naps and bedtime.

    I think all babies are different though, so a lot of experimenting can't hurt to see what works for her!  Good luck mama! "It won't be like this for long"

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  • We tried so long for our LO to nap- it was such a struggle it seemed like nothing I did work. I breastfeed so our LO would constantly fall asleep on the boob then when I went to lay her down she would wake back up- it drove me nuts. So 2 weeks ago I started roughly every 3 hours or so laying her on our bed and giving her her paci, for a few minutes she would fuss but then she would be out. So I did this every day and now she naps 3 times a day- usually 2-40 minute naps and 1- hour or so. But its great I dont need to be with her and she doesnt fall asleep on me. I also noticed getting her to nap when she wasnt over tired was the best bet. My hubby goes "why are you putting her down for a nap she doesnt even look tired".....but thats the trick you cant wait until they are crying to then put them for a nap because by that point it is just too late....Consitency is key!
  • imagerobyn183718:

    Have you tried side lying nursing?  This works really well for us, and one of the easiest ways to get my lo to sleep.  We usually swaddle one arm, then I nurse till she's asleep and lets go, and then gently get up.  I make sure she is in the middle of our bed and check her frequently to make sure she doesn't roll, but it could help. 

    Also you can try to make naps the same environment as it would be for bedtime.  Maybe some shades to darken the room and we use a fan that's on for naps and bedtime.

    I think all babies are different though, so a lot of experimenting can't hurt to see what works for her!  Good luck mama! "It won't be like this for long"

    This doesn't solve the underlying issue though, that her baby will not go to sleep without nursing.  Unless you plan to still be doing this at 1, 2, 3 years of age, you need to figure something else out at some point. Otherwise you may find yourself with a weaned child who desperately needs a nap and is melting down because they don't have a solid nap routine (been there, done that, it SUCKS). 

    It can also be an issue if you want to leave your LO with someone else--dad, a sitter, etc.--during naptime.  

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  • My DD has also turned into a horrible napper in just the last week.  She used to go down really easy I would just rock her until she was almost sleeping and set her in the crib, but now its an all out fight which goes on for sometimes up to an hour or more.  She won't even tolerate me rocking her.  We have been putting her in the car seat and sway her and that seems to work the best.  She has also fallen asleep in her swing once. 

    Oh and just like OP she is awesome at going down for the night where she sleeps usually 10 hours.

    Lisa Frank.  Please give me a few tips to get my happy napper back.

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  • Op, you described my Will to a T! It is a battle for his naps too, but he is slowly getting better. I am going to try sleep training after talking to his doc next week. Gl with your lo!
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  • I agree you need to stop nursing her to sleep unless you plan to do that for life. At some point your baby will need to be able to do it themselves.

    But I started sleep training Friday night.  This is our third day and LO now has gone to sleep on his OWN in 16 and 5 minutes today.

    My problem is length.  He's only going down for 35 minutes - Lisa - more tips for us please!  Ferber says to get him up, and not put him down until the next intended nap.  Other sleep plans tell me to let him CIO again using the intervals.  Tips?

     

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  • imageiris427:
    imagerobyn183718:

    Have you tried side lying nursing?  This works really well for us, and one of the easiest ways to get my lo to sleep.  We usually swaddle one arm, then I nurse till she's asleep and lets go, and then gently get up.  I make sure she is in the middle of our bed and check her frequently to make sure she doesn't roll, but it could help. 

    Also you can try to make naps the same environment as it would be for bedtime.  Maybe some shades to darken the room and we use a fan that's on for naps and bedtime.

    I think all babies are different though, so a lot of experimenting can't hurt to see what works for her!  Good luck mama! "It won't be like this for long"

    This doesn't solve the underlying issue though, that her baby will not go to sleep without nursing.  Unless you plan to still be doing this at 1, 2, 3 years of age, you need to figure something else out at some point. Otherwise you may find yourself with a weaned child who desperately needs a nap and is melting down because they don't have a solid nap routine (been there, done that, it SUCKS). 

    It can also be an issue if you want to leave your LO with someone else--dad, a sitter, etc.--during naptime.  

     

    Well I guess I meant she could try it out as a start and then gradually wean her from nursing to nap, but to me it doesn't hurt to use that method so you are not just going cold turkey, no more nursing for you!  A lot of times her nap schedule and feeding schedule coincide for us. 

    Also, I didn't mean to imply that is the only way I get my lo asleep.  I have just found it effective especially when she IS overtired, since I don't have to move her when she finally has fallen asleep.

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  • imageJasonKristen:

    My DD has also turned into a horrible napper in just the last week.  She used to go down really easy I would just rock her until she was almost sleeping and set her in the crib, but now its an all out fight which goes on for sometimes up to an hour or more.  She won't even tolerate me rocking her.  We have been putting her in the car seat and sway her and that seems to work the best.  She has also fallen asleep in her swing once. 

    Oh and just like OP she is awesome at going down for the night where she sleeps usually 10 hours.

    Lisa Frank.  Please give me a few tips to get my happy napper back.

    Not Lisa Frank but I am convinced these days that the key to a good sleeper is doing a scheduled routine and putting your baby down awake in their crib.  No nursing to sleep, no rocking, no swing.  They have to learn to fall asleep on their own.  And it may involve some crying/fussing while they learn the new routine.

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  • Ditto Iris regarding routine. 

    And if you have a 45 minute chronic napper, read up on the 45 Minute Intruder.  My DD has had it since about 8 weeks (she was napping perfectly in her crib before that point, all thanks to a routine I established around 4 weeks).  So, I'm finally at the point where training her seems to be a good option and it's working. 

    I don't suggest nap training until LO is STTN on a consistent basis. Night sleep comes first, then the formation of 2-3 naps a day.  I'm shooting for her to go down at 9:30 and 1:30 as we move towards 6 months.  And for the last 5 days, I used intervals the 1st 2 days and then over the weekend I stopped disturbing her at the 45 mark and let her go.  It took 2 days of fussing and now she's doing really well! :knock on wood:

    If you have a LO that will tolerate the swing, I suggest you use it to prolong the naps.  3-4 hours of nap sleep is normal at this age, along with 10-12 hours of night sleep.  Also be mindful of the night sleep and how long it is.  I've found that by gradually moving DD's bedtime a little later, and letting her wake a little earlier, has created a better nap structure for her. She was going down at 6:30/7 and sleeping until 7, but now she goes down closer to 8 and sleeps to 6:30.

    HTH and sorry to hijack!

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  • Also, regarding the routine: Pick a song to sing before each nap/bedtime. For us, it's Twinkle Twinkle. I've been singing it since I brought her home from the hospital and now when she's rubbing her eyes and generally fussy, I can start singing it and she immediately calms down and knows it's time for her nap/bed.  Sometimes I sing it twice to prolong the routine.

    GL, girls! It will all come together soon, I promise!

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  • CIO-ers, let's talk technique.

    I admit to the following: not being a fan of CIO in general, not reading a book with a specific technique to follow, and just sort of flying by the seat of my pants, knowing in the back of my head what "works" to get her to nap (nurse and nap on me).

    While posting this desperation post, I was sort of CIOing a nap. It went on for over two hours. Two hours of me holding her (but not nursing or rocking) until she was 50-75% asleep, putting her in the crib in her quiet, dark room (with white noise on and in a sleep sack while full and dry) setting her down and walking out. She immediately fussed or cried. I would leave the room for a 2 min interval, then check in (didn't work) or pick up put down (did get her calmed/back to half sleep), then 5 intervals of 5 mins, then 10 min intervals. For two hours straight. Until I caved, realizing that I have class tonight and shiit I HAVE to get done and this was not a good day to start this. She fell asleep on me in our bed, I was able to roll her off, and after 20 mins, she is asleep on her back in my bed. I am sitting in my dark bedroom on the laptop supervising and I *think* I can get my reading done for class in this lighting. She fussed once in her sleep but is still sleeping, but it has only been 15 mins of her alone in the bed.

    Can we talk about what went wrong and what went right?

    Right: my baby is asleep on her own for a nap.

    Wrong: I was unhappy using CIO, which I don't think worked and would have gone on ALL. DAY. My baby is not currently sleeping in a safe place (ie, in my bed with no rails so I am here supervising). She still required nursing and being on me to fall asleep. I have a sense she is only asleep right now because she was SO overtired from a) already being tired and needing to nap and b) basically crying for two hours.

    Did I just do it wrong? Like I said, I am not well-read on the subject but I felt like it was the right thing of check ins and intervals and putting down while still awake. I even did the very, very slow put down (like leaving my hands under her head and rump so it still felt like I was there), which also didn't work. Ugh, if my hair wasn't already falling out I would be pulling out fistfuls. Did I do something right? Is my new adjustment to (on a timed schedule) nurse down, fall asleep on me, sleep alone in my bed (supervised), and tomorrow I can try to transfer to the crib or PNP? And work our way towards 1) nurse, fall asleep, go straight to PNP, then 2) nurse, get to 50% asleep, straight to PNP, then 3)nurse, go to straight to PNP awake, then 4) go to PNP awake?   

    I know the sort of just tell me what to do! posts are kind of annoying, but I don't think my pedi is the right resource for this and I don't know anyone else with children. Is there a book suggestion so I can work towards figuring it out on my own and stop harassing the interwebs?

     

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  • Thanks Iris and Lisa! LO usually is up goes to bed around 830 or 9 and wakes at 630 or 7.  Should I follow the wake time of 1.5 hours or should is she growing out of that and just needs to take longer naps.  Also, I don't know if you are a SAHM or not, but I take LO to DC so how do you go about asking them to take on your schedule if I am just starting this now.  Should I wait for the weekend?

    Sorry nycdueinmay for hijacking your post also!

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  • The thing with sleep training is that you have to decide to do it and just DO IT.  You can't half-ass it or it won't work.  Trust me, I tried.  If you can't deal with listening to LO cry, then find a method that doesn't involve crying.  But if you try to do CIO and you aren't consistent (you go in and get them before the specified time is up) then it's never going to work.  I was going in and getting my LO after a couple minutes of crying, which did nothing but train her to yell for two minutes then expect me, but now that I just let her go a few times, she is going down for naps with no fussing at all 90% of the time.

    I also don't think you should just arbitrarily choose your own time frames.  We used Ferber, I think the first day's intervals were 2-3-5 or something like that, the next was 3-5-7.  They have to increase over the 7 day period, otherwise your LO will get in the habit of you always coming to get her at 2 minutes or 5 minutes.

    It was so hard for me to listen to her for two minutes, but a baby who gets healthy naps, even if she has to cry for a couple of minutes until she falls asleep, is much better than an overtired, cranky baby IMO.

    Good luck!!!

  • imagenycdueinmay:

    CIO-ers, let's talk technique.

    I admit to the following: not being a fan of CIO in general, not reading a book with a specific technique to follow, and just sort of flying by the seat of my pants, knowing in the back of my head what "works" to get her to nap (nurse and nap on me).

    CIO, or sleep training is really not a 'fly by your pants' type of thing. To stick with it, and do it properly, you need to be informed as to why you are doing what you are doing, and what works best.  I would recommend buying a book, reading the whole thing before trying sleep training. 

    While posting this desperation post, I was sort of CIOing a nap. It went on for over two hours. Two hours of me holding her (but not nursing or rocking) until she was 50-75% asleep, putting her in the crib in her quiet, dark room (with white noise on and in a sleep sack while full and dry) setting her down and walking out. She immediately fussed or cried. I would leave the room for a 2 min interval, then check in (didn't work) or pick up put down (did get her calmed/back to half sleep), then 5 intervals of 5 mins, then 10 min intervals. For two hours straight. Until I caved, realizing that I have class tonight and shiit I HAVE to get done and this was not a good day to start this. She fell asleep on me in our bed, I was able to roll her off, and after 20 mins, she is asleep on her back in my bed. I am sitting in my dark bedroom on the laptop supervising and I *think* I can get my reading done for class in this lighting. She fussed once in her sleep but is still sleeping, but it has only been 15 mins of her alone in the bed.

    Can we talk about what went wrong and what went right?

    Right: my baby is asleep on her own for a nap.

     Except your baby didn't go to sleep on her own, which is the point of sleep training.  Your baby cried enough and she got to sleep on you, which is how she knows how to go to sleep. 

    Wrong: I was unhappy using CIO, which I don't think worked and would have gone on ALL. DAY. My baby is not currently sleeping in a safe place (ie, in my bed with no rails so I am here supervising). She still required nursing and being on me to fall asleep. I have a sense she is only asleep right now because she was SO overtired from a) already being tired and needing to nap and b) basically crying for two hours.

    You picked intervals randomly.  In order for sleep training to work, the intervals have to get longer, otherwise you're only teaching her to cry for a specified amount of time before she's picked up.  We started at 3, 5, 10 and it took B two tens to fall asleep.  I think the more we check on B, the more upset he gets.  The longer intervals work better for him.  (my source: Ferber)  The average time for the first sleep train is 45 minutes, but your baby could be shorter or longer.

    Did I just do it wrong? Like I said, I am not well-read on the subject but I felt like it was the right thing of check ins and intervals and putting down while still awake. I even did the very, very slow put down (like leaving my hands under her head and rump so it still felt like I was there), which also didn't work. Ugh, if my hair wasn't already falling out I would be pulling out fistfuls. Did I do something right? Is my new adjustment to (on a timed schedule) nurse down, fall asleep on me, sleep alone in my bed (supervised), and tomorrow I can try to transfer to the crib or PNP? And work our way towards 1) nurse, fall asleep, go straight to PNP, then 2) nurse, get to 50% asleep, straight to PNP, then 3)nurse, go to straight to PNP awake, then 4) go to PNP awake?   

    I think you're making it too hard.  Nurse her, make sure she's awake. Put her down. Leave.  

    I know the sort of just tell me what to do! posts are

    kind of annoying, but I don't think my pedi is the right resource for this and I don't know anyone else with children. Is there a book suggestion so I can work towards figuring it out on my own and stop harassing the interwebs?

     We're using "Solving all your sleep problems" by Ferber, who is hated by some.  It's working well for us.  In three days he's putting himself to sleep with only a little bit of crying.  Bed times take half as long.

    And like Iris said before, I think its all about a routine.  We have a very solid bedtime routine that we've built over the last few months. (bath, lotion, story, feed) and a naptime routine I've built over the last two weeks (sleep sack, nap song, put down, "night night!"

    If your child doesn't know what's coming next they get confused.  You remind me of me a few weeks ago when we were having trouble with naps and I just did everything I could think of.  But by me doing this, my LO had no idea what was going on and just got more confused.  

    I know its hard.  Sleep training isn't for everyone.  But for me, there is less crying now at naptime, then when I was rocking him to sleep. I figured if there was going to be crying anyways, we might as well be learning to go to sleep ourselves.

    Sorry for the crazy long response.  I am NO expert. I dont really feel qualified to have written this much. 

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  • imagenycdueinmay:

      

    I know the sort of just tell me what to do! posts are kind of annoying, but I don't think my pedi is the right resource for this and I don't know anyone else with children. Is there a book suggestion so I can work towards figuring it out on my own and stop harassing the interwebs?

     

    If you go to the parenting section in the bookstore, there is a plethora of sleep books.  Look through and see which ones appeal to you.  We have Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell, which specifically addresses the nurse to sleep issue, but there are many others.  They can explain things much better than I can.

    Like others said, if you decide to do sleep training, you need to think of a plan ahead of time (NOT when you are frustrated and baby is tired and cranky) and then commit to it.  If you don't commit and be consistent, it won't work and it may just make things harder. 

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  • imageiris427:

    If you go to the parenting section in the bookstore, there is a plethora of sleep books.  Look through and see which ones appeal to you.  We have Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell, which specifically addresses the nurse to sleep issue, but there are many others.  They can explain things much better than I can.

    I read that book, and it was good.

    Other than the fact where it didn't help me at all. Sigh. I have a baby that will go to sleep on his own, but won't stay asleep. It's so frustrating. Her great advice was that a baby that puts himself to sleep should start sleeping through the night in 2 weeks. Yeah right, biotch.

  • imagetokenhoser:
    imageiris427:

    If you go to the parenting section in the bookstore, there is a plethora of sleep books.  Look through and see which ones appeal to you.  We have Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell, which specifically addresses the nurse to sleep issue, but there are many others.  They can explain things much better than I can.

    I read that book, and it was good.

    Other than the fact where it didn't help me at all. Sigh. I have a baby that will go to sleep on his own, but won't stay asleep. It's so frustrating. Her great advice was that a baby that puts himself to sleep should start sleeping through the night in 2 weeks. Yeah right, biotch.

    You're moving closer to the evil side.  :D  

    In all seriousness, I'm really glad Iris is here to give her perspective. This conversation would have been ripped a new one by our 3-6 (or 0-6, whatever) board back then. LOL  I probably would have been at the center of the controversy, too. :D

    I'm just glad people are more receptive now (at least here) to teaching their babies to sleep.

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  • imageLisa Frank:
    imagetokenhoser:
    imageiris427:

    If you go to the parenting section in the bookstore, there is a plethora of sleep books.  Look through and see which ones appeal to you.  We have Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell, which specifically addresses the nurse to sleep issue, but there are many others.  They can explain things much better than I can.

    I read that book, and it was good.

    Other than the fact where it didn't help me at all. Sigh. I have a baby that will go to sleep on his own, but won't stay asleep. It's so frustrating. Her great advice was that a baby that puts himself to sleep should start sleeping through the night in 2 weeks. Yeah right, biotch.

    You're moving closer to the evil side.  :D  

    In all seriousness, I'm really glad Iris is here to give her perspective. This conversation would have been ripped a new one by our 3-6 (or 0-6, whatever) board back then. LOL  I probably would have been at the center of the controversy, too. :D

    I'm just glad people are more receptive now (at least here) to teaching their babies to sleep.

    Honestly, I do get the need. And I don't mind my baby crying a bit. I'm tired.

    My real problem is that nothing I'm reading or hearing is any help for what's going on in my house. That, and a good deal of contradictory advice from the various experts (eg. Ferber vs. Weisbluth). Do I need to get my baby to bed at 6 pm or do I need to make sure he doesn't sleep more than 9 hours at night? That's pretty contradictory and leads me back to "go with your gut". I have a baby that goes down to sleep at night and for most (but not quite all) naps in his crib with minimal fuss. He's still waking up a lot at night, though, and I really can't let him cry at 3 am. I'm too damn tired.

  • imagetokenhoser:

    Honestly, I do get the need. And I don't mind my baby crying a bit. I'm tired.

    My real problem is that nothing I'm reading or hearing is any help for what's going on in my house. That, and a good deal of contradictory advice from the various experts (eg. Ferber vs. Weisbluth). Do I need to get my baby to bed at 6 pm or do I need to make sure he doesn't sleep more than 9 hours at night? That's pretty contradictory and leads me back to "go with your gut". I have a baby that goes down to sleep at night and for most (but not quite all) naps in his crib with minimal fuss. He's still waking up a lot at night, though, and I really can't let him cry at 3 am. I'm too damn tired.

    I'm with you on the contradictions. That's why it is SO important to do just what you said: Follow your gut.  That's always been my whine about the CIO posts. Use common sense, adapt the suggested methods to fit your family, tweak as necessary and see what happens.

    It's a big game of testing and tweaking until you finally find what works. And in truth, it all changes every 2 months anyway. :D I'm a big fan of 6 months. That's the time where I feel like the sleep stuff really falls together. Even for the most difficult kids, that might be the starting point.  

    Oh, and being tired. Sleep training is a beyotch. But it's like 2 weeks. For realz. :)

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  • That's why all those lazy authors pretty much say not to try until 6 months, huh? Hopefully around then, something will actually help.

  • imagetokenhoser:

    That's why all those lazy authors pretty much say not to try until 6 months, huh? Hopefully around then, something will actually help.

    Make me a deal. If he's still not sleeping at 6 months, you'll try Ferber :) 

    My DS napped in his swing....until he outgrew it at like 7 months. I thought for sure I was screwing him up, but I look back and laugh at myself. One day, I put him in the crib, and he napped! Like a pro!  That's why I'm just letting it go with the swing this time around. I know she won't do this forever.  Keep telling yourself that, but be mindful of sleep associations (mostly at the breast, because I had a snacker, who hated bottles/paci's and know EXACTLY what that is like) BAH! I think she's made a sleep association w/ the swing and I'm testing it to see what might happen and sure enough, she's started napping well again after 5 days of hell. :D

    Edit: Scratch that. Her naps went to crap over 4th of July weekend. So, 2.5 months of hell. LOL  At least she's a good night sleeper. My DS was NEITHER! But now, he's my dream sleeper....most nights anyway  :) 

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  • I edited the crap out of this novel:

    imageCanuckFan03:
    imagenycdueinmay:

    I admit to the following: and just sort of flying by the seat of my pants, knowing in the back of my head what "works" to get her to nap (nurse and nap on me).

    CIO, or sleep training is really not a 'fly by your pants' type of thing. To stick with it, and do it properly, you need to be informed as to why you are doing what you are doing, and what works best.  I would recommend buying a book, reading the whole thing before trying sleep training. 

    [I meant that TODAY I was "flying by the seat of my pants", as in, trying to do what I knew how to do without having her on me and that, at the time of post, I was not using a specific book or method, thus the flying.]

    I would leave the room for a 2 min interval, then check in (didn't work) or pick up put down (did get her calmed/back to half sleep), then 5 intervals of 5 mins, then 10 min intervals. For two hours straight. Until I caved, realizing that I have class tonight and shiit I HAVE to get done and this was not a good day to start this.

    Right: my baby is asleep on her own for a nap.

     Except your baby didn't go to sleep on her own, which is the point of sleep training.  Your baby cried enough and she got to sleep on you, which is how she knows how to go to sleep. 

    [I meant that she was physically on her own, not physically requiring me to be laid on, which is WAY more of the issue than nursing to sleep Stick out tongue ]

    Wrong: I was unhappy using CIO, which I don't think worked and would have gone on ALL. DAY.

    You picked intervals randomly.  In order for sleep training to work, the intervals have to get longer, otherwise you're only teaching her to cry for a specified amount of time before she's picked up.  We started at 3, 5, 10 and it took B two tens to fall asleep.  I think the more we check on B, the more upset he gets.  The longer intervals work better for him.  (my source: Ferber)  The average time for the first sleep train is 45 minutes, but your baby could be shorter or longer.

    [I also said I did 2 minute intervals three times, then 5 minute intervals 5 times, then 10 minute intervals for the remainder for a total of 2 hours. I was not randomly running in, but I (admittedly) was randomly choosing if I would PUPD or not or rock her when I PUPD or not because I didn't know wtf to do at that point in terms of my behavior.]

    I think you're making it too hard.  Nurse her, make sure she's awake. Put her down. Leave.  

    [I totally agree. I think it may take a major change of lifestyle, as in I do not live on a schedule or even a timed routine at all, but I think that is most likely the underlying issue. She does not have a general wake up time and we just sort of float through our days, sometimes going out and doing stuff and sometimes not. I think I need to buck up and nail down a schedule. I guess I thought I didn't have to, but apparently I do. I tried Eat Play Sleep for a few days when she was little, but she seems locked in to Eat Sleep Play, thus the nurse down issue.]

    And like Iris said before, I think its all about a routine.  We have a very solid bedtime routine that we've built over the last few months. (bath, lotion, story, feed) and a naptime routine I've built over the last two weeks (sleep sack, nap song, put down, "night night!"

    If your child doesn't know what's coming next they get confused.  You remind me of me a few weeks ago when we were having trouble with naps and I just did everything I could think of.  But by me doing this, my LO had no idea what was going on and just got more confused.  

    I know its hard.  Sleep training isn't for everyone.  But for me, there is less crying now at naptime, then when I was rocking him to sleep. I figured if there was going to be crying anyways, we might as well be learning to go to sleep ourselves.

    Sorry for the crazy long response.  I am NO expert. I dont really feel qualified to have written this much. 

    I actually really appreciate your input because I know you responded to my posts weeks ago with total misery about your LOs sleep (naps and night). I literally read your responses and was like "well at least I don't have it as bad as she does!" I'm sorry. I still don't think that Ferber/CIO is right for me, but I really appreciate the discussion on why it works for some. I also appreciate being beat over the head that she needs an expected routine and I should start thinking or working now about breaking the nurse to sleep habit.

    Again, I know you were right where I am so I appreciate knowing it CAN get better. Even if I'm not ready to CIO now, it is kind of nice to put it in your pocket and hold it as successful, even if it is a last resort.

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  • imageLisa Frank:
    In all seriousness, I'm really glad Iris is here to give her perspective. This conversation would have been ripped a new one by our 3-6 (or 0-6, whatever) board back then. LOL  I probably would have been at the center of the controversy, too. :D

    I'm just glad people are more receptive now (at least here) to teaching their babies to sleep.

    I still stand... how can I phrase this. I want to say against CIO but I think it is more like, I don't want to think of it as a necessary evil and I hope, desperately, to avoid it. I consider it a last resort.

    I am being more receptive (from other people's posts) to start flushing out why I think it is so awful. As in, I don't think she can manipulate me, but if she is fed/dry/comfortable, why is she crying? She is crying because she is a baby who wants to be held by her mother. Oops, that's where that train gets stuck. Ok, another flushing, is crying really such a bad thing? Don't you think that Steve Jobs and Barack Obama and Bill Gates and Oprah and [insert any important person here] cried when they were a baby? Is it really so detrimental for a baby to cry? Can crying for a bit as a baby really harm a relationship with a mother who feeds them and rocks them and ensures all of their needs are met? Can her little brain really think that I am gone forever and she will never be fed or snuggled or changed ever again even though she has none of those needs at this moment?

    Like I said, the mental trains hit road blocks but I am at least challenging some of my thoughts that I wasn't previously. Before I just said CIO=bad, the end.

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  • imageLisa Frank:

    My DS napped in his swing....until he outgrew it at like 7 months. I thought for sure I was screwing him up, but I look back and laugh at myself. One day, I put him in the crib, and he napped! Like a pro!  That's why I'm just letting it go with the swing this time around. I know she won't do this forever.  Keep telling yourself that, but be mindful of sleep associations (mostly at the breast, because I had a snacker, who hated bottles/paci's and know EXACTLY what that is like) BAH! I think she's made a sleep association w/ the swing and I'm testing it to see what might happen and sure enough, she's started napping well again after 5 days of hell. :D

    I let DD nap in the swing until 7 or 8 months too and we had such a hard time getting any naps when she went to daycare and they would ONLY let her nap in the crib. That is why I am trying my best to get DS to nap in the PNP/crib as much as possible. He doesn't nap very well in the swing anyway, but I do allow a cat nap in there in the evenings if he has had a crappy nap day just so we can get through dinner without a meltdown. 

    The 30-45 min nap thing is KILLING me though. I get a good 2 hour nap every couple days but in general his naps are 30-60 mins and it sucks. I don't want him to have 6 short naps. I know that it is better for him to get 3 solid naps (and better for me too!). He almost always wakes up crying which I know means he is not well-rested. I let him cry (it is usually on and off since he will start sucking his thumb and settle down) until an hour is up and then I get him. I can't wait for naps to be better. I hope it is soon. It is so unpredictable.

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  • imagenycdueinmay:

    I actually really appreciate your input because I know you responded to my posts weeks ago with total misery about your LOs sleep (naps and night). I literally read your responses and was like "well at least I don't have it as bad as she does!" I'm sorry. I still don't think that Ferber/CIO is right for me, but I really appreciate the discussion on why it works for some. I also appreciate being beat over the head that she needs an expected routine and I should start thinking or working now about breaking the nurse to sleep habit.

    Again, I know you were right where I am so I appreciate knowing it CAN get better. Even if I'm not ready to CIO now, it is kind of nice to put it in your pocket and hold it as successful, even if it is a last resort.

    Thank you.  If you had asked me a month or two ago, I would have probably said that CIO wasn't for me either.  It's a decision I made based on two reasons:

    1. We were having so much crying during nap times, that the crying already existed. At night, sometimes it took three tries of B waking back up and  crying before he would go down for the night.  Like I said before, if we were already dealing with crying, I would rather use it to teach himself to sleep.

    2. I have a friend who wasn't comfortable with sleep training, and her 2 year old son still gets up several times a night.  Each time he wakes up, he needs one of his parents to come lay with him until he goes back down. I know I cannot deal with a situation like this. (Although I realize that there are probably other programs that have no crying that could have helped this situation - he is this way because she did nothing.)

    We all do what is best for us.  I do think going to the book store and looking around for a book and system that you like will help.  I like having a book in front of me so when I have a question, I also have an answer.  If I can't find one, I come to the board.  

    Good luck! 

    imageimage
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  • imagenycdueinmay:

    I am being more receptive (from other people's posts) to start flushing out why I think it is so awful. As in, I don't think she can manipulate me, but if she is fed/dry/comfortable, why is she crying? She is crying because she is a baby who wants to be held by her mother. Oops, that's where that train gets stuck. Ok, another flushing, is crying really such a bad thing? Don't you think that Steve Jobs and Barack Obama and Bill Gates and Oprah and [insert any important person here] cried when they were a baby? Is it really so detrimental for a baby to cry? Can crying for a bit as a baby really harm a relationship with a mother who feeds them and rocks them and ensures all of their needs are met? Can her little brain really think that I am gone forever and she will never be fed or snuggled or changed ever again even though she has none of those needs at this moment?

    Like I said, the mental trains hit road blocks but I am at least challenging some of my thoughts that I wasn't previously. Before I just said CIO=bad, the end.

    She's crying because she wants to be held, but she's also crying because she's tired and she wants to go to sleep and the way she knows to do that is to be held. My little guy tends to cry if he gets tired. That makes it my responsibility to help him go to sleep, not to hold him until he sleeps. I don't think babies understand anything like "forever". They don't have a concept of time, but that just means they know "right now I'm unhappy". They can't project to "and I'll never be happy again!". 

    I'm not a huge fan of programs that leave babies as young as ours to cry for long periods. Most books target babies 6+ months. I think if you're going to use a program "early", you need to adapt it for a younger baby and not let things escalate as far. The book iris recommended is  less about the strict timings and more about starting where you're comfortable, even if that's 30 seconds of crying. It's sort of a middle ground between the no-cry and the extinction books.

    Honestly, I do think some people are rushing things but I also get that survival is key. And I do think that some things are easier to deal with at certain "windows". We got DS out of the bouncy seat for sleeping around 7-8 weeks because it seemed like the time to us. If it seems like the time for you to put her down, then you're the mom and that's a good decision for you. 

  • imagetokenhoser:

    She's crying because she wants to be held, but she's also crying because she's tired and she wants to go to sleep and the way she knows to do that is to be held. My little guy tends to cry if he gets tired. That makes it my responsibility to help him go to sleep, not to hold him until he sleeps. I don't think babies understand anything like "forever". They don't have a concept of time, but that just means they know "right now I'm unhappy". They can't project to "and I'll never be happy again!". 

    I'm not a huge fan of programs that leave babies as young as ours to cry for long periods. Most books target babies 6+ months. I think if you're going to use a program "early", you need to adapt it for a younger baby and not let things escalate as far. The book iris recommended is  less about the strict timings and more about starting where you're comfortable, even if that's 30 seconds of crying. It's sort of a middle ground between the no-cry and the extinction books.

    Honestly, I do think some people are rushing things but I also get that survival is key. And I do think that some things are easier to deal with at certain "windows". We got DS out of the bouncy seat for sleeping around 7-8 weeks because it seemed like the time to us. If it seems like the time for you to put her down, then you're the mom and that's a good decision for you. 

    I haven't read a single book that advocates letting a baby cry for a long period of time.  I mean, Weissbluth does mention extinction, but it's not until baby is older.  I think that's where a lot of misconceptions about sleep training lie.  That somehow, sleep training (even as early as 4 months) implies that you close the door and wait for your baby to pass out.  Even Babywise doesn't advocate letting a baby cry for long periods of time. 

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  • Well, to me, 10 minutes is a pretty long time. "Long period" is a subjective term, and I've definitely read programs that I wouldn't use on my 4-month old.
  • imagetokenhoser:
    Well, to me, 10 minutes is a pretty long time. "Long period" is a subjective term

    True. It's all about what each Mom is comfortable with.  

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  • imagetokenhoser:
    imageiris427:

    If you go to the parenting section in the bookstore, there is a plethora of sleep books.  Look through and see which ones appeal to you.  We have Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell, which specifically addresses the nurse to sleep issue, but there are many others.  They can explain things much better than I can.

    I read that book, and it was good.

    Other than the fact where it didn't help me at all. Sigh. I have a baby that will go to sleep on his own, but won't stay asleep. It's so frustrating. Her great advice was that a baby that puts himself to sleep should start sleeping through the night in 2 weeks. Yeah right, biotch.

    LOL yeah I don't think that is true, at least not for every kid.  When we sleep trained our daughter, she did start STTN pretty quickly, but she was also 11 months old, not 4.  At this age, they may not be developmentally ready to STTN.  I'm not trying to get my baby to STTN at this point, I just want him to be able to sleep without a boob in his mouth.

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  • imageiris427:

    LOL yeah I don't think that is true, at least not for every kid.  When we sleep trained our daughter, she did start STTN pretty quickly, but she was also 11 months old, not 4.  At this age, they may not be developmentally ready to STTN.  I'm not trying to get my baby to STTN at this point, I just want him to be able to sleep without a boob in his mouth.

    I need mine to sleep more than 2 hours after his first long sleep. She had zero advice for that.

    Although last night, I did decide to feed him at the first wake, then not at the second one (so I fed him at 1:30 am and not at 3 am). I put his soother back in and he sort of played for about 20 minutes and went back to sleep. I think that means not all his wakes have anything to do with hunger. I'm happy to feed him once or twice a night, but I'm not happy to feed/deal with him 5 times a night. And now I'm fighting a head cold so I'm sleeping even worse than he is. Ick.

  • imagetokenhoser:
    imageiris427:

    LOL yeah I don't think that is true, at least not for every kid.  When we sleep trained our daughter, she did start STTN pretty quickly, but she was also 11 months old, not 4.  At this age, they may not be developmentally ready to STTN.  I'm not trying to get my baby to STTN at this point, I just want him to be able to sleep without a boob in his mouth.

    I need mine to sleep more than 2 hours after his first long sleep. She had zero advice for that.

    Although last night, I did decide to feed him at the first wake, then not at the second one (so I fed him at 1:30 am and not at 3 am). I put his soother back in and he sort of played for about 20 minutes and went back to sleep. I think that means not all his wakes have anything to do with hunger. I'm happy to feed him once or twice a night, but I'm not happy to feed/deal with him 5 times a night. And now I'm fighting a head cold so I'm sleeping even worse than he is. Ick.

    You can also try to decrease the amount of time allowed at the breast. (worked great for DS!) This might mean more nursing during the day, but like I just told someone in a PM, if baby isn't getting the calories in during the day, trying to train them to STTN isn't going to really work. 

    If he seems to be waking regularly (as in, it's always 1:30, 3 etc) it might be more habitual waking than hunger waking.  

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  • imageLisa Frank:

    imagetokenhoser:
    Well, to me, 10 minutes is a pretty long time. "Long period" is a subjective term

    True. It's all about what each Mom is comfortable with.  

    For me, it is how to define crying. "10 minutes" over here is really 2 mins of fuss, then a min of true cry, maybe 15-30 seconds of hysterics (that's where it gets really, really hard), back to 2 mins of fuss, then 2 mins of silence, a min of cry, 2 mins of fuss, then silence. That is our 10 mins. If I was saying "I let my 4 month old hysterically scream until she is gasping and choking for 10+ minutes" (which are the posts we have all seen and are talking about getting ripped a new one on 3-6 months), that would be TOTALLY different and I would probably die listening to it. Thankfully, that is not the hand I was dealt. That might be where you are coming from, though, so when I say "10 minutes", you imagine your 10 minutes, not mine. 

     

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  • I'm not comfortable letting LO cry hysterically at all. Our CIO has been limited to about 7 minutes max of fussing, not actual crying.  She was having this thing where she'd yell and screm at naptime, but not cry.  I never let it escalate and she STTN just fine.
  • imagepook:
    I'm not comfortable letting LO cry hysterically at all. Our CIO has been limited to about 7 minutes max of fussing, not actual crying.  She was having this thing where she'd yell and screm at naptime, but not cry.  I never let it escalate and she STTN just fine.

    This is where moms and babies are different. My DD has never fussed for more than 3 minutes before it turns into a cry, maybe five once. It always escalates. If I went in every time the fuss turned to a cry I might as well just stand in there picking her up, I would never get to leave.

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